Belmont Outlasts Stetson 87-79
January 14, 2006
Nashville, Tenn. ' Boomer Herndon scored 23 points and Brian Collins added 19 as Belmont defeated visiting Stetson 87-79 in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Saturday afternoon at the Curb Event Center.
The Bruins (7-7, 5-2 A-Sun) shot 58 percent from the field en route to their third win in a row while the Hatters (2-12, 2-4 A-Sun) remained winless on the road this season.
Offensively, the Hatters recorded season-high totals in several categories, including most points (79) and highest shooting percentage (51.8 percent).
'We competed well tonight and I would be hard-pressed to critique our offensive effort,' Hatters head coach Derek Waugh said. 'But give Belmont credit, they pounded the ball inside and we couldn't stop Herndon underneath. Once he got going it really hurt the rest of our defense.'
Belmont led 42-36 after a first-half that featured 11 lead changes. The Bruins extended the lead to nine early in the second-half before Stetson closed to within two at the halfway mark. But the Bruins quickly pushed the lead back to nine following a three-pointer by Andy Wicke and held on for the eight-point victory.
The Hatters had a season-best five players reach double figures, including career-high performances from J.J. Hirst (16 points), Eric Diaz (14 points), and Kris Thomas (12 points). E.J. Gordon led the way with 19 points and topped the 1400-point mark for his career. He becomes the eighth player in Stetson history and 27th player in A-Sun history to reach that plateau. He also had nine rebounds and five assists.
'All those guys played very well,' Waugh said. 'J.J., Eric, and Kris played their best games of the year from an offensive standpoint.'
But defensively Stetson could not stop Herndon, a 6-foor-11 junior, who shot 9-for-12 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line to lead the Bruins. Collins added eight assists to his season-high points total while Wicke finished with 13.
'Belmont got some open looks, they had a good a scheme, and they executed well,' Waugh said.
Stetson fell to 0-11 on the road this season and lost their 14th straight away game overall. The Hatters will continue their road trip in Nashville at 8 p.m. Monday night against Lipscomb.
Notes: The contest was Stetson's highest scoring game of the season (166 points) ... The Hatters' bench combined for 46 points, also a season-high ... Kris Thomas scored 10 straight points in the first half and hit a pair of threes ... Eric Diaz hit a season-high three three-pointers ... J.J. Hirst also hit a pair of threes. He had just one career three coming into the game ... Hirst and Diaz scored 12 points each in the second-half ... E.J. Gordon now has 997 career points in A-Sun games ... Anthony Register had 10 points but did not have a free throw attempt, ending his consecutive free throw streak at 59 games ... It was only the Hatters' second afternoon game this season ... Belmont evened the all-time series with Stetson 6-6 ... The Hatters fell to 0-4 all-time at the Curb Event Center, including a loss in the 2004 A-Sun tournament ... Stetson's last road win came at the site of Monday's opponent ' Lipscomb.